2.3.11. Starting MySQL as a Windows Service
On the NT family (Windows NT, 2000, XP, 2003), the recommended
way to run MySQL is to install it as a Windows service, whereby
MySQL starts and stops automatically when Windows starts and
stops. A MySQL server installed as a service can also be
controlled from the command line using NET
commands, or with the graphical Services
The Services utility (the Windows
Service Control Manager) can be found in the
Windows Control Panel (under on Windows 2000, XP, and Server 2003). To
avoid conflicts, it is advisable to close the
Services utility while performing server
installation or removal operations from the command line.
Before installing MySQL as a Windows service, you should first
stop the current server if it is running by using the following
"C:\Program Files\MySQL\MySQL Server 5.1\bin\mysqladmin" -u root shutdown
Note: If the MySQL
root user account has a password, you need to
invoke mysqladmin with the
-p option and supply the password when
This command invokes the MySQL administrative utility
mysqladmin to connect to the server and tell
it to shut down. The command connects as the MySQL
root user, which is the default
administrative account in the MySQL grant system. Note that
users in the MySQL grant system are wholly independent from any
login users under Windows.
Install the server as a service using this command:
"C:\Program Files\MySQL\MySQL Server 5.1\bin\mysqld" --install
The service-installation command does not start the server.
Instructions for that are given later in this section.
To make it easier to invoke MySQL programs, you can add the
pathname of the MySQL
bin directory to your
PATH environment variable:
On the Windows desktop, right-click on the My
Computer icon, and select
Next select the tab from
the menu that appears,
and click the
Under System Variables, select
, and then click the
button. The dialogue should appear.
Place your cursor at the end of the text appearing in the
space marked Variable Value. (Use the
End key to ensure that your cursor is
positioned at the very end of the text in this space.) Then
enter the complete pathname of your MySQL
bin directory (for example,
C:\Program Files\MySQL\MySQL Server
5.1\bin), Note that there should be a
semicolon separating this path from any values present in
this field. Dismiss this dialogue, and each dialogue in
turn, by clicking until all of the
dialogues that were opened have been dismissed. You should
now be able to invoke any MySQL executable program by typing
its name at the DOS prompt from any directory on the system,
without having to supply the path. This includes the
servers, the mysql client, and all MySQL
command-line utilities such as mysqladmin
You should not add the MySQL
directory to your Windows
PATH if you are
running multiple MySQL servers on the same machine.
Warning: You must exercise
great care when editing your system
hand; accidental deletion or modification of any portion of the
PATH value can leave you with a
malfunctioning or even unusable system.
The following additional arguments can be used in MySQL
5.1 when installing the service:
You can specify a service name immediately following the
--install option. The default service name
If a service name is given, it can be followed by a single
option. By convention, this should be
to specify the name of an option file from which the server
should read options when it starts.
It is possible to use a single option other than
--defaults-file, but this is discouraged.
--defaults-file is more flexible because it
enables you to specify multiple startup options for the
server by placing them in the named option file.
You can also specify a
option following the service name. This causes the server to
run using the
account that has limited system privileges. This account is
available only for Windows XP or newer. If both
--local-service are given following the
service name, they can be in any order.
For a MySQL server that is installed as a Windows service, the
following rules determine the service name and option files that
the server uses:
If the service-installation command specifies no service
name or the default service name (
--install option, the server
uses the a service name of
reads options from the
[mysqld] group in
the standard option files.
If the service-installation command specifies a service name
MySQL following the
--install option, the server uses that
service name. It reads options from the group that has the
same name as the service, and reads options from the
standard option files.
The server also reads options from the
[mysqld] group from the standard option
files. This allows you to use the
[mysqld] group for options that should be
used by all MySQL services, and an option group with the
same name as a service for use by the server installed with
that service name.
If the service-installation command specifies a
--defaults-file option after the service
name, the server reads options only from the
[mysqld] group of the named file and
ignores the standard option files.
As a more complex example, consider the following command:
"C:\Program Files\MySQL\MySQL Server 5.1\bin\mysqld"
--install MySQL --defaults-file=C:\my-opts.cnf
Here, the default service name (
given after the
--install option. If no
--defaults-file option had been given, this
command would have the effect of causing the server to read the
[mysqld] group from the standard option
files. However, because the
option is present, the server reads options from the
[mysqld] option group, and only from the
You can also specify options as Start parameters in the Windows
Services utility before you start the MySQL
Once a MySQL server has been installed as a service, Windows
starts the service automatically whenever Windows starts. The
service also can be started immediately from the
Services utility, or by using a NET
START MySQL command. The NET
command is not case sensitive.
When run as a service, mysqld has no access
to a console window, so no messages can be seen there. If
mysqld does not start, check the error log to
see whether the server wrote any messages there to indicate the
cause of the problem. The error log is located in the MySQL data
directory (for example,
Server 5.1\data). It is the file with a
When a MySQL server has been installed as a service, and the
service is running, Windows stops the service automatically when
Windows shuts down. The server also can be stopped manually by
Services utility, the NET
STOP MySQL command, or the mysqladmin
You also have the choice of installing the server as a manual
service if you do not wish for the service to be started
automatically during the boot process. To do this, use the
--install-manual option rather than the
"C:\Program Files\MySQL\MySQL Server 5.1\bin\mysqld" --install-manual
To remove a server that is installed as a service, first stop it
if it is running by executing NET STOP MYSQL.
Then use the
--remove option to remove it:
"C:\Program Files\MySQL\MySQL Server 5.1\bin\mysqld" --remove
If mysqld is not running as a service, you
can start it from the command line. For instructions, see
Section 2.3.10, “Starting MySQL from the Windows Command Line”.
Please see Section 2.3.13, “Troubleshooting a MySQL Installation Under Windows”, if you
encounter difficulties during installation.